PSSD Clamp down on Smugglers in Kambia
The Preventive Service and Special Division a defensive wing of the National Revenue Authority as part of its operation to deter smuggling, has clamped down heavily on unscrupulous business people attempting to evade customs duty.
The National Revenue Authority (NRA) is an institution set by the government of Sierra Leone to mobilize revenue to meet its national obligations. It is prudent to note that Sierra Leone is 60% donor dependent and it was against that backdrop, the Government thought it wise to institute the NRA to eradicate the country’s high donor dependency for which the onus was given to the NRA. The National Revenue Authority is also divided into various departments all working towards the same goal i.e., revenue maximization for national expenditure. One of these departments created within the NRA is the Preventive Service and Special Division (PSSD) a department that is contributing immensely to the revenue mobilization of the Gbalamuya customs post in Kambia District, the third revenue pot of Sierra Leone thus playing an integral role in cubing smuggling in this part of the country.
On the 13th December 2012 the PSSD of the National Revenue Authority at the Gbalamuya Customs post embarked on a robust foray in a bid to source leaked revenue and during the process the team of Preventive Service and Special Division personnel arrested five motor bikes carrying dutiable goods attempting to evade customs. During the struggle to get the motor bikes under their control, one of the personnel was dragged by one of the riders thereby sustained an injury on his right knee.
Similarly, on the 15th December 2012 the same hard working and committed PSSD personnel with intelligence received, mounted another operation at about 10:00pm and apprehended a Guinean Nissan Sony car with registration number RC. 7234 and a Toyota Haice van AGZ 206 carrying dutiable goods in a town called Kareneh.
In this village called Kareneh, the Sierra Leone Police erected a checkpoint whether legal or illegal one could not tell but according to the O.C OSD; the checkpoint was installed at that location to deter illegal and subversive movement of human and goods.
On the date in question, the team of PSSD personnel visited the Kareneh checkpoint and by the time they arrived, the police personnel on duty at the time had already released the two vehicles without proper security check and few minutes later, after the smuggled vehicles were released, the police spotted the PSSD vehicle from a far and immediately dropped down the rope which gave way to the smuggled vehicles to reverse instead of helping NRA to arrest them.
Haven dropped down the rope thereby aiding the smugglers escape, both smuggled vehicles reversed with a very high speed but one of the vehicles, AGZ 206 ran into a dead luck and was knocked heavily at a big tree where it was smoothly captured by the Preventive Service and Special Division personnel and subsequently taken to the customs house where they are going through the normal customs procedure.
This is one among several arrests that have been made by the Gbalamuya Customs PSSD personnel but most according to investigation were been released by the Officer In-charge without explaining the reason for the release.
It was further discovered that the OIC, Malcolm Wilkinson is soliciting and accepting an advantage from big smugglers in the form of car, generator, television etc so that he could look at them with blind eyes. To hide his corrupt practices at the Gbalamuya Customs post, Malcolm Wilkinson told this journalist as he put it “off record” forgetting he was talking to investigative journalist that he is hiring the service of some print journalists one could refer to as bad journalists to write things that are not true about him and each of these journalists are receiving Le500,000 each an effort he said could help his stay in the post.
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